Mumbai: The action by Karnataka Legislative Assembly against Belgaum-based Marathi daily Tarun Bharat for giving voice to atrocities on Marathi populace there is akin to what the Taliban do, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said today.
Tarun Bharat is the voice of Marathi populace in that state and the Karnataka Assembly has approved a resolution to de-recognise it and forwarded the same to the Press Council, Thackeray said.
This action by the Assembly proves that freedom of expression is merely a puppet in hands of politicians, he said in an editorial in party mouthpiece "Saamana".
Thackeray also criticised chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for "keeping mum" on the struggle of Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka. "There was a rumour that Chavan wielded clout in Delhi but he did not use it to provide justice for the Marathi people there," he said.
The demand by the Karnataka Assembly to cancel registration of the newspaper is a Talibani act and it should be "derecognised" for this barbaric act, he said.
The Assembly had on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to reprimand editor of Tarun Bharat for publishing stories with false allegations against Karnataka MLAs Abhay Patil and Shyam B Ghatage.
Patil is a BJP MLA from Belgaum South and Ghatage is a Congress MLA from Khudachi constituency.
The Assembly`s Privileges Committee had ordered editor of Tarun Bharat, Kiran Thakur, to depose before it without fail on June 12 to explain himself in connection with `breach of privilege` notice given by the two MLAs. Thakur is also a senior leader of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) and leads one of the factions of its Belgaum taluk unit.
The two MLAs had complained to the Speaker and submitted documents in support of their complaint that the newspaper was publishing stories tarnishing their image with baseless allegations, using their names unnecessarily, making unwarranted remarks against them for past three years.
Law and Parliamentary affairs minister S Suresh Kumar moved the resolution after the privileges committee headed by Goolihatti Shekar presented the report and the resolution was passed unanimously to summon Thakur to the assembly on July 30, when he would be admonished by the House.